Saturday, June 25, 2005

Front Page and the Treasure Coast Review.

I've spent the past couple of weeks putting together the pieces of the new Virtual Grub Street. When fate made a "malware blog" out of what was originally intended to be the "arts&lit blog" VGS, the arts and lit side got lost a bit in the shuffle. The recent additions are designed to give all of the categories of posts that appear in VGS a chance at "belonging".

In particular, I've combined and heavily modified two existing template designs which now appear at two new blogs: Virtual Grub Street's Front Page and the Treasure Coast Review. The look is a kind of souped-up-electronic-journal-look with three rows of links. Each of the new blogs has been given a stand-alone mainpage. One serves the original VGS blog as a journal front page and the other serves as a portal to arts and lit pieces that will be shared between the original VGS and Treasure Coast Review blogs. A row of horizontal links has been added to each page-header to facilitate moving back and forth between the blogs and journal pages.

As the name might imply, the Treasure Coast Review will also provide Virtual Grub Street with a regional/local side. The "review" aspect, as regards books, will be satisfied from the review copies I receive in-house from various publishers. The book reviews, then, will continue to be national rather than regional. Poetry will be the best I can assemble. I will not have time to consider submissions and any poems and reviews by others will be strictly by invitation. As for the rest, I intend to review regional arts, theater, restaurants, etc., as the opportunity arises. The first regional page(s) will be an events calendar.

While there are still a few small bugs to be worked out, the templates for Front Page and the Treasure Coast Review are generally working quite well. I intend to have fun following Virtual Grub Street and my freelance and computer work wherever they will take me. Perhaps you will stop in to see how things are going from from time to time.

Writer Gazette Newsletter, June 24, 2005.

- June 24th, 2005 -
WRITER GAZETTE WEEKLY UPDATE
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Krista Barrett, Owner
mailto: editor@writergazette.com
A Writer's Digest Best Site of 2002, 2003 & 2005!

Bringing you the best writer-related resources online; free articles, paying job listings and call for submissions, contests and more -- every Friday!
A warm welcome to all my new subscribers and 'welcome back' to my current readers and writers!

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1.What's Happening at Writer Gazette
4. Connecting Writers Worldwide
5. Book Reviews Wanted for Writers
6. Featured Books for Writers
7. Articles Just In
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10. Freebies for Writers
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Hire an Agent, Editor, Ghostwriter, Proofreader, or Web Designer!

- June 24th, 2005 -
WRITER GAZETTE WEEKLY UPDATE
http://www.writergazette.com
Krista Barrett, Owner
mailto: editor@writergazette.com
A Writer's Digest Best Site of 2002, 2003 & 2005!

Bringing you the best writer-related resources online; free articles, paying job listings and call for submissions, contests and more -- every Friday!
A warm welcome to all my new subscribers and 'welcome back' to my current readers and writers!

-- PASS IT ON! --
Feel fr/ee to forward this newsletter in its entirety to your friends or fellow writers. I appreciate it!
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American Life in Poetry #13: Kevin Griffith.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Birthdays, especially those which mark the passage of a decade, are occasions not only for celebration, but for reflection. In "Turning Forty," Ohio poet Kevin Griffith conveys a confusion of sentiments. The speaker feels a sense of peace at forty, but recalls a more powerful, more confident time in his life.


Turning Forty

At times it's like there is a small planet
inside me. And on this planet,
there are many small wars, yet none
big enough to make a real difference.
The major countries--mind and heart--have
called a truce for now. If this planet had a ruler,
no one remembers him well. All
decisions are made by committee.
Yet there are a few pictures of the old dictator--
how youthful he looked on his big horse,
how bright his eyes.
He was ready to conquer the world.


Reprinted from "Cooweescoowee, A Journal of Arts and Letters," by permission of the author, whose most recent book is "Paradise Refunded" (Backwaters Press, 1998). Poem copyright 2004 by Kevin Griffith. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.



Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:

Friday, June 17, 2005

American Life in Poetry #12: Andrei Guruianu.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Perhaps your family passes on the names of loved ones to subsequent generations. This poem by Andrei Guruianu speaks to the loving and humbling nature of sharing another's name.


Grandfather

Dead before I came into this world, grandfather,
I carry your name, yet I've never met you.
I hear my name, and know
that somehow they refer to you.
When I scribble those six letters
fast, to sign some document
or print them neatly in a box,
I feel your presence flow with the ink
stain and burn through the paper,
forever imprinted in my mind.
Late summer nights
gathered around the dinner table,
leftovers being cleared away,
faces clouded in cigarette smoke,
I hear voices pass the word
back and forth in reverence.
Somehow I know it's not me
the little one grabbing for attention.
They speak of you, Andrei,
the one I've never met,
whose name I carry.



Reprinted from "Paterson Literary Review" by permission of the author. Andrei Guruianu is a reporter for the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin in Binghamton, N.Y. Poem copyright 2003 by Andrei Guruianu. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.



Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Recent "How to Remove" Detail Pages.

The following "How to Remove" detail pages have recently been posted at Virtual Grub Street. How to Remove pages are linked from the Adware & Malware Indentifier Index.

How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) ConfuSearch;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) EasySearch, HotOffers;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) Ibis Toolbar;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) IELoader;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) I-LookUp;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) ISearchTech.SideFind;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) ISTBar;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) nCase, Zango;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) SearchRelevancy;
How to Remove (Uninstall, Delete, Get Rid of) VX2.

The How to Remove SearchForFree detail page has also recently been updated. Further pages will follow.

HijackThis vs. SearchForFree.

SearchForFree is a relatively new piece of adware/malware. It is a start page hijacker downloaded by icasserv.exe (a.k.a. AdClicker-CM , TROJ_ICASERV.A, and Trojan-Clicker.Win32.Small.fd). The start page is actually hijacked by htmlsync.exe. The infection also uploads bookmarks into the Internet Explorer browser.

Because Virtual Grub Street seeks to bring computer users together with freeware (or, occasionally, trialware) tools with which to remove malware infections, the "How to Remove SearchForFree" page suggests downloading and running Pocket KillBox on individual key files and cleaning up the bits and pieces that remain.

This does not mean that Pocket KillBox is the only - or even, necessarily, the best - available means of removal. For the present, it is the only freeware fix that would seem to be available. The vast majority of computer infections can be manually removed should the user be sufficiently aware of the specifics of manual removal and the dangers involved. The manual method can, however, be quite time consuming compared to an effective freeware fix.

HijackThis is a very popular tool used to glean detailed information on spyware, adware and trojans that may have invaded a computer. As described on the Tom Coyote HijackThis page, When launched, it creates a log of "certain key areas of the Registry and Hard Drive and lists their contents. These are areas which are used by both legitimate programmers and hijackers. It's up to you to decide what should be removed."

It would not be entirely unfair to describe HijackThis as a program designed to simplify manual removal. Rather than search for files individually - the names of which the user may or may not know - and follow the file path to delete them, HJT provides an orderly log and a "fix" function. It is important to realize that the "fix" function is nothing more than a "delete" function, however, and the dangers inherent in manual removal remain. Care must be taken not to delete legitimate files or registry keys. It is always advisable to make a backup copy of the files in question before proceeding.

While HJT tutorials are available on the web, the log in question is a great confusion to the uninitiated. When their computers become infected, they flock to "expert" forums where they post their raw logs and beg for further instructions. For one thing, there a great many different file names, some vital for proper system operation and others malicious. Even after considerable study it can be difficult to know which are which.

These forum threads are a source of considerable information. They can introduce the reader to a wide range of freeware packages and free online scans available on the web. They also provide keyfile names and paths that can be used to find and manually remove the components of an infection, should the user prefer that option to downloading HijackThis or other programs.

The cleanest HJT fix, as regards SearchForFree, would seem to be the one represented by this thread from DesignTechnica. The expert directs the suppliant to download his preferred anti-adware/malware freeware packages:

Download The Stand Alone Version of CW Shredder, [SpyBot S&D], [Ad-Aware],...


They are probably the three best known throughout the web. But the instructions do not yet call for using the packages. Instead the following:

Reboot To Safe Mode (tap F8 on Startup)
Delete this file
C:\WINDOWS\System32\icasServ.exe


A quick check at VGS's "How to Remove SearchForFree" reminds us that 'The file "icasserv.exe" is the downloader for this infection and is a also known as the "icasserv-a trojan" (a.k.a. AdClicker-CM , TROJ_ICASERV.A, and Trojan-Clicker.Win32.Small.fd) .'

In fact, none of the freeware packages is able to remove SearchForFree. The expert's removal instructions will amount to nothing more than manually removing the keyfiles, while in Safe Mode, for the SearchForFree infection:

C:\WINDOWS\System32\icasServ.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\isystem.exe
C:\WINDOWS\System32\ldriver.exe
C:\WINDOWS\htmlsync.exe

After the removal is effected, the suppliant is instructed that he should "Still In Safe Mode Delete all Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, Run CW Shredder, Ad-Aware and SpyBot S&D,delete what they find , Empty recycle bin." It is unclear what, if anything, from the SearchForFree infection is removed in this fashion.

It is important to realize that the "O4 - Startup: winupdate12900161[1].exe" entry that the expert deletes, after all of this, as the last step of the fix, is meant to repair a second infection not related to SearchForFree.

Geek Girl's fix, at this thread, from My Tech Support's forums, has one advantage and one disadvantage compared to the thread from Design Technica's expert. On the downside, she requires a greater number of downloads:

Download / Install / Update / and Run: [Ad-Aware] SE check for any updates before running it. Get the plug-in for fixing VX2 variants. You can download it at this SITE[.] To run this tool, install to the hard drive, then open [Ad-Aware]->Add-ons and select VX2 Cleaner. Then click Run Tool and OK to start it. If it's clean, it will say Status System Clean. Otherwise, you will have to click on the Clean button to remove the VX2 infection.

Download and install SpyBot S&D . Run SpyBot and click on the 'Search for Updates' button. Install any updates that are available. Next click on the 'Check for Problems' button. Let it run the scan. If it finds something, check all those in RED and hit the Fix Selected Problems button. Exit SpyBot. If you keep getting the DSO Exploit entries, even after you updated Windows and fixed them, then download the Spybot DSO Exploit Fix and install it over the current Spybot installation.

The Temp folders should be cleaned out periodically as installation programs and hijack programs leave a lot of junk there. Download CleanUp! (Alternate Link if main link don't work) and install it. You will use this later.


Again, all of these are quality pieces of freeware, but none of them can remove the infection.

On the upside, her instructions on how to remove the icasServ.exe file clearly involves using the "process manager" function of HijackThis:

Go into [HijackThis]->Config->Misc. Tools->Open process manager. Select the following and click Kill process for each one (You must kill them one at a time).

C:\WINNT\System32\icasServ.exe



The Design Technica thread seems to direct the suppliant to manually delete the file rather than use the process manager.


While there might appear to be two different file paths to icasServ.exe in the two threads there is not. The path "C:\WINDOWS\System32\icasServ.exe " is the system path for a Windows XP machine. The path "C:\WINNT\System32\icasServ.exe" is the system path for a Windows 2000/NT machine. The file "icasServ.exe " always loads up in the "%System%" path.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

American Life in Poetry #11: David Wagoner.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Here David Wagoner, a distinguished poet living in Washington state, vividly describes a peacock courtship, and though it's a poem about birds, haven't you seen the males of other species, including ours, look every bit as puffed up, and observed the females' hilarious indifference?


Peacock Display

He approaches her, trailing his whole fortune,
Perfectly cocksure, and suddenly spreads
The huge fan of his tail for her amazement.

Each turquoise and purple, black-horned, walleyed quill
Comes quivering forward, an amphitheatric shell
For his most fortunate audience: her alone.

He plumes himself. He shakes his brassily gold
Wings and rump in a dance, lifting his claws
Stiff-legged under the great bulge of his breast.

And she strolls calmly away, pecking and pausing,
Not watching him, astonished to discover
All these seeds spread just for her in the dirt.


Reprinted from "Best of Prairie Schooner: Fiction and Poetry," University of Nebraska Press, 2001, by permission of the author, whose most recent book is Good Morning and Good Night, University of Illinois Press, 2005. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.



Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:

American Life in Poetry #10: Marge Piercy.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

The poet and novelist Marge Piercy has a gift for writing about nature. In this poem, springtime has a nearly overwhelming and contagious energy, capturing the action-filled drama of spring.


More Than Enough

The first lily of June opens its red mouth.
All over the sand road where we walk
multiflora rose climbs trees cascading
white or pink blossoms, simple, intense
the scene drifting like colored mist.

The arrowhead is spreading its creamy
clumps of flower and the blackberries
are blooming in the thickets. Season of
joy for the bee. The green will never
again be so green, so purely and lushly

new, grass lifting its wheaty seedheads
into the wind. Rich fresh wine
of June, we stagger into you smeared
with pollen, overcome as the turtle
laying her eggs in roadside sand.


Marge Piercy's latest book of poetry is "Colors Passing Through Us" (Knopf, 2003); her new novel "Sex Wars" (Morrow/Harper Collins) will be out in December. Poem copyright 2003 by Marge Piercy and reprinted from The Paterson Literary Review with permission of the author. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.



Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser:

In the Mailbag: Zack Rogow Replaces Shevi Berlinger.

The following notice has been floating around in the mailbag for a few days and seems worth passing along to those interested in Virtual Grub Street's literary side.


Dear Friends:

I am pleased to announce that Zack Rogow is the new editor and artisticdirector of TWO LINES.

Zack is taking over for our previous managing editor, Shevi Berlinger, whois returning to her native New York to begin her graduate career and becomeinvolved in the literary community there. Zack is also taking on theeditorial duties and many of the artistic functions that I have served sinceI co-founded TWO LINES in 1993. I will continue to serve as editor emerituson the TWO LINES editorial board and as president of the board of the Centerfor the Art of Translation (CAT), and will retain the lead role in planningthe Center's future. I will be working in close partnership with Zack onartistic and editorial matters and will continue to help out on many TWOLINES and CAT projects.

Zack Rogow is a poet and translator of French literature. He was a recentfinalist for the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize and theNorthern California Book Award for his new translation of Colette’s GreenWheat. He is also a past recipient of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month ClubTranslation Prize and the BABRA award for translation. At the University ofCalifornia, Berkeley, he founded the Lunch Poems Reading Series with RobertHass. He teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at the California College ofthe Arts.

We feel very fortunate to have found someone with decades of experience inthe literary community as a writer, translator, editor, and reading seriescoordinator who has also contributed to TWO LINES several times over theyears and served as a Board Director of the Center.

We wish Shevi all the best in New York and we are thrilled to welcome Zackto the Center. You can reach him at zrogow@catranslation.org.

Olivia E. Sears, President and Founder
Center for the Art of Translation
35 Stillman Street, Suite 201San Francisco, CA 94107
ph: (415) 512-8812
fx: (415) 512-8824
e-mail: osears@catranslation.org
web: www.catranslation.org

The Center for the Art of Translation is a non-profit organization thatpromotes international literature and translation through programs in thearts, education, and community outreach.

Friday, June 03, 2005

American Life in Poetry #9: James Doyle.

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

In eighteen lines--one long sentence--James Doyle evokes two settings: an actual parade and a remembered one. By dissolving time and contrasting the scenes, the poet helps us recognize the power of memory and the subtle ways it can move us.


The City's Oldest Known Survivor of the Great War

marches in uniform down the traffic stripe
at the center of the street, counts time
to the unseen web that has rearranged
the air around him, his left hand
stiff as a leather strap along his side,
the other saluting right through the decades
as if they weren't there, as if everyone under ninety
were pervasive fog the morning would dispel
in its own good time, as if the high school band
all flapping thighs and cuffs behind him
were as ghostly as the tumbleweed on every road
dead-ended in the present, all the ancient infantry
shoulder right, through a skein of bone, presenting arms
across the drift, nothing but empty graves now
to round off another century,
the sweet honey of the old cadence, the streets
going by at attention, the banners glistening with dew,
the wives and children blowing kisses.


James Doyle is the author of "The Silk at Her Throat," Cedar Hill, 1999. Poem copyright James Doyle and reprinted by permission of the author. This weekly column is supported by The Poetry Foundation, The Library of Congress, and the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This column does not accept unsolicited poetry.






Also at Virtual Grub Street by/about Ted Kooser: